Community Building · Customer service

How do you run your customer service team?

Alessandro Grande Entrepreneur

December 17th, 2014

What are the best practices or common mistakes to avoid in running customer service teams? Not only what tools do you use or recommend avoiding, but even more so have you implemented a) what success metrics are for customer service and b) have you found good ways of doing more proactive customer service - e.g. Kitchit will reach out to people that are waiting on responses with offers to help.

Chip Luman COO & Co-founder HireVue

December 18th, 2014

I agree with Morten. If you are referencing service as in product support and help, I focus on net promoter score (NPS) first and foremost - is your product and are your people easy to work with? If so, customers will promote you (sell for you) in the marketplace. Your customers are your best product development resource, they will tell you what works and what they need more/less of. Support people need to be empowered to solve issues in the moment so you can learn. Case ratios, resolution, response time, customer satisfaction are all important but how you measure/manage changes based on stage of growth and maturity. As you grow you have to focus on scale and how you can solve issues in product or self serve. 

If you are referencing customer success - the focus on adoption and utilization of your product, then I have four core measures, adoption/utilization, NPS,  logo churn and revenue growth. Make those measures part of a quarterly MBO. A big mistake is to hire someone that is not familiar, too junior or lacking in business experience relative to your end users. Your customers need to learn from you, not teach your customer success team. Hire someone (like a customer user who has implemented your product) so they can immediately add value to your customers. 

Haim Toeg Customer Success, Services and Support Executive - Available For New Opportunities

December 17th, 2014

Alessandro - best practices depend on the industry and segment. Can you elaborate on what you are trying to accomplish?

Morten Jensen Founder at UserChamp; Chief Experimentation Officer at Playpen Labs

December 18th, 2014

Adding to Haim's point, success metrics and best practices also differ (can even be total opposites) depending on which stage you're at and what you're trying to achieve.

As in, early on when you're still developing your product, you probably want to maximize talking to your customers to get as much direct feedback as possible. Later on reducing customer churn or growing revenue may be the aim and you may focus on increasing self-service for some types of questions and offering account managers for others. What metrics you look at and which tools and strategies you use will be very different.